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August 28, 2005

Lindsay Davenport


Q. Do you normally play a tournament before a Grand Slam?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I have many times in the past. I mean, a lot of times a situation presents itself to where you have no choice but to do that. Ideally, with the age I'm at now and my history with injuries, it's not, you know, something I would prefer to do. But I felt like it was more important to play one tournament this summer coming into the US Open than none at all.

Q. So you got through the week without any problems whatsoever?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, it was good. I mean, I was really nervous the first match to see like how my back would do and then how it would be the next day, and it was fine. Then I had to play the last three days in a row, and I feel fine today. So I'm happy about that.

Q. Are you doing anything different between matches and tournaments that you haven't done in the last year or so?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: No, I mean, for the last year, I mean, I've travelled with my own physio privately. I've done more treatment all the time. Really, that's really my number one concern. So I've put a huge emphasis on it. I try and, you know, strengthen all my weak points when I can, and keep everything going smoothly as best I can.

Q. Have you ever had a doctor tell you, as even my wife has who's very tall, that you just have too long a back?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: (Laughing). Oh, gosh, I have been told so many things (laughing). Yeah, I mean, it's not easy being my height. Maybe that's a good excuse, huh (smiling)?

Q. Wear some submarine shoes, make you four inches shorter.


Q. So many people have said to me since Wimbledon that it was a tough loss and matchpoint and so on. They've said, "Gosh, she was so gracious." I said, "What do you expect?" You struck people somehow. I don't know how you felt.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, I mean, I will say, I mean, the first few weeks after -- and even now, I've had more people come up to me over that particular instance than, you know, even winning Slams in the past or whatever. I was joking, I'm like, I had like so many presents and flowers and stuff sent to my house, it's like, "Oh, my God, I feel like someone died or something happened," because it was -- my husband and I would laugh about it. But I think people were really, I don't know, touched. It was such an emotional match. I don't know. But I have had many people come up to me and remark about it.

Q. An interesting point, you say it's not easy being your height. Can you cite us any instances when it was difficult? Did you get all your height in one fell swoop, so to speak?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, I was just kind of joking there with Bud for saying that. No, I've always -- growing up, I was always the tallest kid in my class - girl, sometimes boys - but then obviously as you get older. It seemed like every year I kept growing. My dad is 6'8", so it explains a lot of it there. But, no, I don't know. I was just kind of remarking that maybe it is a good excuse for all my injuries, being so tall. I don't know if that has -- probably nothing to do with it, but it sounds good (smiling).

Q. You had an hour with Corina this morning. That was an easy choice to make because you know her so well. When you guys go out to train you know exactly what you want to do out there. Are there certain players you won't practice with, not because you don't like them but because of the way they approach practice? And are there certain players that you really look forward to practicing with and in a sort of general sense, who are those players? What are they like?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: (Laughing). I don't know if I'm going to name any names.

Q. Not names necessarily.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Absolutely, there is a very short list of players that I will practice with. I feel like when I practice, I'm pretty, like, easy-going and feel like I, you know -- you practice with some girls that are like basically giving fists in practice, I'm like, "You've got to be kidding me." I prefer to go out there and I'd rather enjoy myself with a friend or another player. And some of the girls I practice with are like Corina, Lisa, I practice with Hantuchova sometimes, Amy Frazier. I mean, players that I guess just are a little bit more easy-going personality.

Q. What about the intensity level of the practice?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, I feel like I do intensely with my coach, and if I need to hit with another girl, then, I don't know, I'd rather just enjoy it. I don't really get that intense playing practice sets.

Q. Pete, for example, was a renowned lousy practice player. He wouldn't make an effort if you were playing points. What about yourself?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I don't win many practice sets. It's true (smiling). It's just the way it is. I just kind find myself, like, trying that hard to beat somebody for no reason.

Q. Getting back to the post-Wimbledon affection you felt, I was reading something yesterday where you said you got to a stage in your career where you attribute it to just because you've been around so long, people appreciate you more. Do you feel it's that?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I don't know. I mean, the question was presented, Do you think the crowd is more on your side now, and I said absolutely. I mean, I felt obviously more beloved in the States than I would anywhere else in the world. But I think it's natural. I think the crowd always kind of goes for the players that as they get older and who they've seen experience more ups and downs throughout their career and who they come to know a little bit better. I mean, sure, they like newcomers. But not that I put myself in the same category with them, but, you know, towards the end, Monica was, you know, a fan favorite. In the beginning, I mean, I remember here they were going nuts for her to lose for a couple years. You know, I think Steffi was always pretty much a favorite. But when she was just dominating there, they were cheering sometimes for whoever she was playing against just to have her lose sometimes. I don't know. I mean, obviously, I can't speak for any fans and how or why that they would cheer for me now and why they wouldn't before or anything like that. I don't know. Maybe it's I'm older, or maybe they've seen me out there longer, or feel sorry for me, or like me. I don't know what it is (smiling).

Q. Could it be because you mentioned retirement?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It could be. Maybe they feel like they won't see me next year or the next time or not many more times. I don't know.

Q. Where is your thinking on that now?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: It's really nowhere. I don't have -- it's not even in my vision to stop. I mean, obviously, it's going to happen sooner or later one day. But while I'm playing well and, you know, if you have chances to win Grand Slams, it's obviously extremely difficult to walk away and feel like you've left anything on the table or unfinished. So while I'm healthy and playing well, enjoying it, feel like I'm contending, I'm going to keep on playing.

Q. I'm from India. I have a special question. We have a player on the tour, Sania Mirza. Have you heard her? Have you watched her?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I've heard about her. I've never seen her play, so it would be wrong for me to really make any comments about her. I'm sorry.

Q. (Inaudible question).

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I met her a couple times right before Wimbledon. There's one grass court around where we play, and she was practicing there before after me. I met her, but I don't know her.

Q. You don't know anything about her game?


Q. Since you did talk about retiring, you had one of the more amazing runs of your career. What do you think that is?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I think a lot of it has to do with that. I felt like a couple of wins there gave me a lot of confidence to keep going, and I've kind of sustained that confidence. I feel like I work way harder now than at any point in my career off the court, and I feel like that all of a sudden came into play quite a bit. And, I don't know, I feel like I enjoy it more now. I don't know if that's because I came to the realization that I might be without it soon, or came to the realization that I better enjoy the last few years, however long they last. I don't know. But it seems like I feel like I handle things a lot better now and have enjoyment now when I travel and go away to play.

Q. Is there any part of you that thinks, "Oh, my God, I could have missed this," if you had retired?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: You know, it never -- I mean, I'm glad - obviously thrilled - I didn't retire. I was still speaking generally, I wasn't saying like, "I'm going to quit at this point." So I don't know actually how close I got to that point. I mean, I'm ecstatic to still be out here and still be as successful as I am.

Q. Do you think that the intense marketing of Maria Sharapova has made her more vulnerable on a tennis court than she otherwise would be if she hadn't had all that in her life?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: I have no idea. I know Maria as a competitor and a little bit off the court, and, I mean, I said I think she's handled everything that's come at her way since winning Wimbledon really well. I mean, she's still very young and is a very great player. I think, you know, if she chooses to go down different avenues, it's obviously her choice. Other players can handle things differently. I'm one who can't handle anything but playing tennis and trying to be married; that's about good enough for me. But, you know, other players have the ability to encompass a lot more.

Q. As one of Justin Gimelstob's self-appointed editors, you've read some of his writing.

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah (laughing).

Q. Did you have any remarks to make to him after his comments about the women's tour?


Q. What did you say, or did you just hit him?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, pretty much (smiling). I have -- I don't know if I can repeat everything I said to him in here. I mean, he was trying to cause a stir, and that's what he explained to me, and trying to get a rise out of some of his columns.

Q. He get a rise out of you?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, I just -- I'm always curious what the fascination is about men and how they have to judge women constantly, you know: What they look like, what they wear, who they hang out with. It's like the women are like, "Oh, yeah, he's cute, well whatever." We don't sit there and like go, "Oh, my gosh, his arms are a little too thin, his legs are a little too thick." And men have this endless fascination with, it seems like - and Justin especially - about just depicting and picking on everything about the body. And so his column was, I thought it was a waste of time.

Q. What about Justin's body?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Yeah, really. I asked him if he wanted me to get into that, he said no (laughing).

Q. I believe today you're No. 1 again, so congratulations. But I also seem to recall that in your scope of, you know, priorities, that's not really essential. Could you just talk a little bit about where that ranks in your concerns and what is the most important thing to you now?

LINDSAY DAVENPORT: Well, it's so tough. I mean, at this age and at this stage of my career, I think that the ranking is not something I really focus on. Because one of the things that rewards is quantity, and, you know, I've already made it clear, like, I'm going to play when I'm healthy, when it's right. I'm not going to go around and play 17 to 25 tournaments to try and chase this ranking. So I'm going to play the tournaments that I'm supposed to play. If I do well and end up ranked a certain number, that's fine for me. But I think you'll find if you look, a lot of girls play a lot more tournaments than I do. And if it comes down to that, I'm not going to win. For me, I try to focus on the quality that I can bring to each tournament that I enter. And, I mean, I put in a huge effort to try and win a Grand Slam again. I've gotten close twice this year and it hasn't happened, so I just keep plugging away in hopes that that will happen. Other than that, I take a lot of pride in always being a consistent performer and hope that that keeps going.

End of FastScripts….

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